The first is The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop, illustrated by Preston McDaniels. This is a pretty typical type of analogy about saving your kiss for the man you marry. (The kiss=your love, your whole heart, your purity) I love the fact that my oldest gets whisked away into romance with the art on each page and the idea that the princess does indeed find her true love (a humble farmer).
The next book is The Armor of God by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Jenny B. Harris. Mackall gives us a very simple retelling of Ephesians 6:10-18 putting it in situations that any young child will understand. The beauty of this book comes with the fact that my son has the (dress up) armor of God. The colorful pictures along with a sword and shield that my son can actually touch cement the verses into his memory. This reaches
almost every one of his ways of learning: he hears the story read, he sees the pictures, and he can actually play with his armor.
Book number three gets an A+ for creativity! (I really wish I had thought of this idea!) On one side of My Two Hands, My Two Feet by Rick Walton (illustrated by Julia Gorton) you read a poem about
hands with pictures of the older sister. Flip the book, and you get another poem about feet with pictures of the younger sister. Each
poem ends on the middle page: a picture of the two sisters lying in
the grass, asleep.
The next book illustrates a favorite idea of mine: using fiction to teach fact. Berry Best Gardening Book by
Megan E. Bryant is of course capitalizing on an old character that many of us moms enjoyed as little girls. It is more of a "factory model" book, but it does a great job at using big, bright pictures
to show the process of gardening--from seeds to what to plant to harvesting. And, as an added bonus, there is a fictional story about Strawberry Shortcake and her friends at the bottom of the page!
Last comes another illustrative book; this time showing us how to introduce our favorite stories to the very young. A wonderful story is always appropriate for every age. My oldest loves the pictures in this shortened form an old favorite of mine, Anne of Green Gables. The story is the same, just less of the rambling Anne-style of writing. This is a great way to encourage young ones to read: whet their appetite with a small portion of a bigger feast. This version was adapted by M.C. Helldorfer and illustrated by Ellen Beier.